These delicious beans get even tastier if baked a day ahead and reheated.
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1 lb. dry red kidney beans, washed and soaked overnight
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp. bacon drippings or shortening
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. powdered mustard
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
5 cups water, more if needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain beans and place in an ungreased 3-quart bean pot or casserole dish. Mix in remaining ingredients. Cover tightly. If the dish has no lid, cover tightly with two thicknesses of foil. Bake 5 to 6 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and sauce is thick. If the mixture gets too dry before the beans are done, stir in a little warm water.
Variation: To use a slow cooker, soak the beans overnight in the slow cooker without turning on the heat. Drain thoroughly. Return beans to the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Note: The flavor of the beans improves if prepared a day ahead and reheated. About 30 minutes before serving, pop the casserole dish into a 350-degree oven to reheat.